Modding upgrading and tuning the BMW B57 engine!

Car tuning tips:B57 Modifications"

B57 Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the BMW B57

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the BMW B57 engine!"

Our friends at TorqueCars are regularly getting posts asking about how to improve the B57 from people wanting to know what are the premier B57 modifications. So let us look into BMW B57 tuning mods and outline the best mods that work on this great engine and point out some problems along the way.

The BMW B57 are awesome to work on and with the right upgrades like ECU maps, turbo kits and camshafts you will certainly increase your driving enjoyment.

Let us look at B57 tuning and point out the best modifications.

When talking about the top parts for your B57 engine, we are going to focus on the mods that give the best power gain for you spend.

B57 induction kits

Improving air intake on the B57

You need fuel and air for an engine to work. If there is too little fuel then it will run lean, if there is a lack of air it runs rich losing power which risks damage to the B57. We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So Shoving more air into each cylinder is the main goal to any engine modification project.

You'll commonly see there's a limit in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on the B57 when a lot more air is being fed into the engine.

We see 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor sapped power at a much lower level.

The intake plenum carry the during the engines suck phase from the filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine and mixed with fuel.

Structure and flow characteristics of the Intake headers can make a noticeable change to fuel atomisation on the B57.

It's not uncommon that air intake manifolds are needing aftermarket parts, although some makers provide reasonably good air intake manifolds.

Fitting big valve kits, doing a bit of 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also raise power, & more importantly will permit raising the power increase on other parts.

B57 performance cam tips.

Each engine responds better to less aggressive cam durations than others.

The engine timing and fuelling also will say much on the torque gains you'll hit.

Altering valve durations can alter the torque band and on most engines the exhaust and intake durations do not need to match, although most cams and tuners use matched pairs there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations.

The camshaft profile plays a big part in the engines power output so camshaft upgrades make quite a large difference. The intake and exhaust durations will alter depending on the chosen camshaft profile, so large bhp gains are on offer for camshaft upgrades.

NB: Fast road camshafts usually push up the performance across the rpm band, you could drop a little low down torque but the high end rpm power will be better.

Competition camshafts, push up the high end rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

On a daily driver you need to optimize your bhp range to your typical driving style.

I'd be gobsmaked if you have ever thought a B57 Motorsport and race cam is a pleasure to live with when driving around busy urban areas.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the B57

Before we break the best tuning upgrades down into stages of tune, let's list the most effective tuning upgrades for you.

  1. Suspension Upgrades - always improve your cars handling
  2. Brake Upgrades - Even before adding power improve those brakes
  3. Intake - make sure the intake is not restricted, use filters and intake upgrades to improve this
  4. Exhaust - as with 3 ensure there is not restriction in the exhaust, cats are the usual bottleneck
  5. Tunes - remapping, piggyback ECU's and aftermarket ECU's can all make decent gains
  6. Fuelling - when you've increased power you'll need to match this with more fuel
  7. Turbo upgrades - Improving the intake with a large turbo and better flowing intercooler will be the biggest power gain you'll see (but one of the most complex).

This video guide to tuning cars is a great starting point to work from in your project.

Stage 1 B57 parts:

Remaps/piggy back ECU, Sports exhaust manifold, Fast road camshaft, Drilled & smoothed airbox, Intake headers, Panel air filters.

Stage 2 B57 parts:

induction kit, high flow fuel injectors, Ported and polished head, fuel pump upgrades, Fast road cam, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust.

Tuning tips and articles Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Stage 3 B57 parts:

Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Engine balancing & blueprinting, Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Twin charging conversions, Competition cam.

The B57 power trains are great to work on and we're finding that there are plenty of upgrades and tuning parts about.

Mapping helps to establish the full potential of all the parts you've done to your B57.

You will typically expect to see gains of approximately 20-30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but the end result usually depend much on the parts you've done and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the B57

To get a turbo working on a NASP engine there is a lot involved, from lowering compression ratio to improved fuel supply and mapping, so we have found a great guide to helpavoid the common pitfalls or end up with an unfinished project because you were not told what you were getting into by doing this on the B57.

The more air you can get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes excellent power gains.

If the engine is fitted with a turbo parts are relatively easy and turbo charged engines will have stronger components.

However you'll find engines will have power limits

We recommend you find these restrictions and upgrade to better quality components to cope with the power.

We've seen car owners spending a lot of money on turbo upgrades on the B57 only to have the engine block go up in smoke when it's finished.

Bigger upgraded turbo units tend to suffer no power at low rpm, and little turbo units spool up much more quickly but won't have the top end torque gains.

In recent times the market of turbo units is always increasing and we are seeing variable vane turbo units, allowing the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end power.

Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust gases into two channels and feed these at differently angled vanes in the turbo. They also increase the scavenging effect of the engine.

Beefing up the air intake by adding a supercharger or additional turbo will help you achieve very large performance gains, although more challenging to install. We have this article covering twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the B57

When you lift the performance you will need to uprate to the fuel system.

More performance needs more fuel. Most tuners we speak with say to over specify your injectors flow rate.

The rule of thumb is to add another 15% when buying an injector, helps cope with injector deterioration and affords some spare capacity should the engine need more fuel.

Don't forget that different fuel grades will usually require different settings, a high octane fuel will burn more efficiently than lower octane fuel for example. A car will trim fuel supply to keep within the ideal air fuel mix but at the extreme ends you may need to adjust your injector capacity, or the mapping or you'll get flat spots and potential lean or rich fuel issues..

Recommended B57 performance exhaust upgrades

The only time you should look to improve your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the current exhaust is actually causing a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you'll find the flow rate is good even on modest power gains, but on a serious tuning project with a big boost in power you will certainly need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Sports exhausts will certainly help air flow through the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too big or you could will reduce the flow rate. Stick to one and a half to two and half inches for best results.

Usual exhaust restrictions can be traced to the catalysts installed, so adding a faster flowing sports alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Catalyst removal (NB:catalysts reduce harmful engine emissions) is illegal in most countries and regions.

Faults issues and things to look out for on the B57

Like most engines an B57, should have few issues if it gets properly serviced and looked after.

We cannot stress enough the need for oil changes with the correct grade of oil on the B57, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned B57 this is more important than ever and close attention should be paid to your maintenance schedule.

If you are interested in learning more or getting impartial tuning advice for your B57 why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about B57 tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their B57.

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